What Is The Best 2D Sonic Game?

The classic Sonic games are especially dear to my heart, so I know how hard it is to decide among them. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way, so I wanted to get everyone’s opinion one which ones are the best. Since I’m not overly cruel, I’ll let you choose up to two games.

(And if you must know what my choices are, they are Sonic 2 and Sonic CD)

What Is The Best 2D Sonic Game? (Choose 2)

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  1. Peffico says:

    Errr why no Sonic 3 and Knuckles? So I guess I have to vote for Sonic and Knuckles…

  2. andymol21 says:

    Sonic Chaos on MS/GG, that is, was and will always be my favourite Sonic.

  3. racketboy says:

    Peffico, I didn’t want to get into the whole combos thing.
    If you like the Knuckles part most, choose S&K. But you could pick both 😉

  4. NGPC says:

    I voted Sonic CD and “other” since Sonic Pocket Adventure on the NGPC isn’t on the list and it is one of my favourite games.

  5. Covarr says:

    I would have voted “Sonic 2” and “Sonic 3&Knuckles” if that had been a possibility. S3K is much more than the sum of its parts thanks to the way it fills in the empty spots in its masterfully told story.

    Frankly, I never play the game in two pieces, since it seems as if it wasn’t envisioned that way, and separating them was just a trick to meet a deadline and sell more copies.

  6. Gooseberrysoda says:

    I did Sonic 2 and Knuckles’ Chaotix. No matter what you say, I think it’s an awesome game.

  7. LittLeLives says:

    Oh heck ya. S2&K was the best. I love how Knuckles completely breaks that game.
    I guess I’m just going to have to pick Sonic 2 and S&K.

  8. racketboy says:

    Yeah, like being able to fly right over certain levels? 🙂

  9. Rayek says:

    Personally, it’d be Sonic 3 + Knuckles, because otherwise it feels like an incomplete game, but together it’s the longest and most complete Sonic 2D game.

    And I hated…. HATED Sonic CD, but that’s just me, I guess… 😕

  10. racketboy says:

    Even though I didn’t vote for it, I have to say I liked Sonic Rush more than the original Sonic.

  11. Reverend says:

    Sonic 2 all the way!!

    I could play that for days 😀

  12. Retroblique says:

    While the various Genesis sequels tweaked and improved the overall gameplay, the original Sonic the Hedgehog remains the closest to my heart. Nothing quite beats the buzz of sprinting through the technicolor paradise of Green Hill Zone for the very first time.

  13. Gyshall says:

    Hard to pick, Sonic 3 was awesome, but I also loved Sonic and Knuckles. In the end, I flipped a coin and went with Sonic and Knuckles.

  14. Mathius says:

    I think the first two Sonic games were the most streamlined and playable. I am not saying the others aren’t, just that the first two seemed to carry a distinctive “magic.”

  15. laurent says:

    sonic 3 & knuckles combine.
    those were the days when good sonic games were created.
    until today i still play sonic 1 – knuckles + sonic cd.

  16. Covarr says:

    I can’t imagine why Sonic CD is doing so well. I mean, yeah, it had a FANTASTIC soundtrack (the Japanese version had a DOUBLE-FANTASTIC soundtrack), but the time travel aspect interfered with gameplay. There are few things more annoying than having to go real slow and backtracking because you accidentally got a future sign instead of a past sign.

    And the spin dash was borked.

  17. Gord Allott says:

    Sonic 3k is really the game sonic 3 and sonic and knuckles was supposed to be, whenever I talk about these games to others I always refer to them as a whole and thus It seems wrong to have them listed seperatly here. I don’t like sonic 3 more than sonic 2, i don’t like sonic and knuckles more than sonic 2. but I sure do like sonic 3 + sonic and knuckles more than sonic 2.

  18. racketboy says:

    @Covarr — I think you either love or hate Sonic CD. Yes, the time travel can interupt a blazing fast run, but some of really liked the Time Travel element as there was some strategy behind it if you keep track of scores and such.

    It was a strange creature as it was developed by a split Sonic Team (see Wikipedia)

    Some parts of it almost feel like Sonic 1.5. There is an equivalent of the spin dash, but you hold up instead of down and kinda have to charge it up a bit more.

    It did have it’s rough edges and I would have liked to see a real follow-up to it — think Sonic 2’s refinement compared to the original applied to Sonic CD.

  19. Covarr says:

    @Gord Allott: Exactly. Looking at the story, the design, the Knux-specific level pieces in S3, and the S&K code left over in S3, it’s clear that they were meant to be one game. The difficulty ramp also seems to support this, as S&K is generally harder than S3. Admittedly, the difficulty seems to go way down in Mushroom Hill, but it’s still harder than Angel Island, and it goes right back up again for Flying Battery Zone (which is about as hard as Launch Base), suggesting that MHZ was tweaked to be easier at the last minute so it could fit into a “first level” slot.

    Also, look at the Angel Island bosses, which are straightforward and very typical for the first bosses in a Sonic game, and compare it to the wood chopping oddity that you saw in Mushroom Hill. They have never put a boss that interesting in the first level, except in S&K. And then there’s the fact that S&K has a series of bosses in a row at the end (bigass robot eggman in Death Egg, then Doomsday if you have all the emeralds), as opposed to S3, which ends with a fairly ordinary (albeit rather hard) level boss but no real final game boss.

    And then there were the save slots. S3 had save slots for S3&K, further proving that they’d planned the game linking from the start, rather than adding it into S&K as an afterthought.

    It’s clear that these were designed as one game. It’s about like the Golden Sun games on GBA, which were basically one game split in two. I can’t see any reason to list them separately instead of as one game.

  20. racketboy says:

    Except that they were sold separately, you mean?

  21. racketboy says:

    BTW, that’s like calling Back to the Future 2 & 3 the same movie because they were filmed at the same time and were planned together.

  22. Stezo2k says:

    Sonic 2 (MD + MS) i’d say, the early ones were the best i think. i think once they got to sonic 3 they wernt quite the same. Sonic advance 1 is the best recent sonic game IMO, felt like the megadrive versions. no idea why sonic cds doing that well, i’m not a big fan

  23. gord allott says:

    no no, they were actually ment to be one game, sega wasn’t happy with how long it was taking to develop and they wanted a game for the christmas rush, so sonic 3 was refinined from what they already had. it was always supposed to be one game and thats why they tried hard to make the two games run seemlessly together with combined.

    see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3#Development for more info
    theres also a few sonic fan sites that have a *lot* more indepth info (you know how those guys get).

  24. racketboy says:

    That’s all well and good, but the fact is they were released separately. As far as I’m concerned for dividing up the poll, that’s what I’m going by.

  25. Inazuma says:

    Sonic 3 & Knuckles is the best Sonic game and since this poll lacks the option, I voted for both games instead.

  26. bonefish says:

    In other news… Knuckles Chaotix has 8 votes?

  27. slowslow325 says:

    I really don’t like very many Sonic games at all, I just think that they have very little interaction and you are mainly just going forward with the occasional jump (Especially Sonic Rush). I also hate the water levels.

    However, the one that I played and enjoyed is Sonic and Knuckles BY ITSELF!

    Sonic 3 had one level that was totally different and didn’t flow like the levels in other Sonic levels did (yes I know my first and third paragraphs kinda contradict each other).

  28. Alex (PresidentLeever) says:

    Sonic 2 & Knuckles ownz all.

  29. gnrlchaos says:

    Yep, that’s right, I voted for Chaotix and I’m proud of it.

  30. Gooseberrysoda says:

    Ohoho, the best sonic game has 10 votes <3

  31. Xonticus says:

    I voted or Sonic 2 and Sonic&Knuckles simply because sonic 2 is my fav, and I like all the combinations you can get with S&K, so I only voted for the one to encompass all of the lock-on possibilities.

  32. h8b1llg8ts says:

    Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure for the Neo Geo Pocket saved my life during those long flights from Japan to California during 2000 – 2001.

  33. RyaNtheSlayA says:

    Sonic 2 is the odd one out. All the other games kept you from just running as fast as you could right through the whole level. Sonic 3 is the best followed by Sonic CD in my eyes. Mainly as Sonic CD tried something different and Sonic 3 felt like an actual sequel to the first one.

  34. Boringsupreez says:

    I’ll go with Sonic CD, although Sonic 2 is a close second.

  35. Franco says:

    It was difficult for me to decide since I only have Sonic 1 & 2. So between those two I had to choose Sonic 2 for the upgraded graphics and level designs. It was a perfect sequel.

    I heard that Sonic 3 isn’t worth buying though unless you have that Knuckles cart adaptor.

  36. Patrick says:

    1 & 2
    Though nostalgia is probably why I chose those.
    But out of that list I’ve only played 1-3 and Sonic & Knuckles

    Well I picked up Advance the other day buy I haven’t played much of it.

  37. Droid party says:

    Sonic 2 all the way;).

  38. Cerv says:

    I think the level design in Sonic 3 is kind of confusing sometimes (Carnival Night Zone especially), and this interrupted the flow of the game to me (surprisingly, i think Sonic and Knuckles was better in this aspect). Sonic 3 is the only Sonic game on Mega Drive I never finished (not because it’s hard, just because it’s kind of boring with the excessive long levels). So, it’s Sonic 2 and S&K to me. And Sonic 2 is in the winning spot.

  39. E-Turnal says:

    Sonic 2 is the best selling Sonic game for a reason…

    Also I voted for Sonic and Knuckles. I haven’t played a lot on the list though… Sonic 3’s music was great though.

  40. kevin says:

    loved the japan version of sonic cd. and sonic and knuckles…

  41. Tom says:

    I vote for Sonic 3 & Knuckles… unfortunately not included 🙂

  42. Peynor says:

    Sonic 3 was good, but the music was sub par. I voted for sonic 2 and sonic and knuckles.

  43. Cauterize says:

    Sonic 1 all the way. Its the most pure and well thought out Sonic game there is.

  44. rid says:

    sonic 2 all the way, hands down.

  45. StrictlySega says:

    i went with sonic 2 and sonic cd.. sonic 2 as the nostalgia value still touches me deep inside when miles was first introduced and sonic cd just due to its sheer size.. ut mind u i hated that level when u had to stay between metal sonic and drrobotniks ship.. that bit was very frustrating..none the less.. loved the game

  46. PJ says:

    Yeah, why no S3&K? I guess i prefer Soni 3 first, and in second place S&K.

  47. Jack says:

    Because no Sonic 3 and Knuckles, I’ll have to say sonic 3, then Sonic and Knuckles because they go hand in hand.

  48. Dan says:

    Wont let me click vote button. Put me in for Sonic 2 &3

  49. slowslow325 says:

    Sonic Rush!

  50. Noah says:

    No Sonic 3 and Knuckles. Sigh. Being sold separately does not change the fact that they are one big Sonic game that happened to get split into two because of an itch to get something out to sell for the holidays. Sonic and Knuckles is an expansion pack with a cool lock on feature, at most. It’s very obvious that it’s a continuation of Sonic 3 and the short release time in between both games should be telling.

  51. null1024 says:

    Sonic 3 and Knuckles [as one big game] and Sonic CD. Also, they have the sexiest music [well, at least the international version of Sonic CD, the US version’s music is bland, barring the title song].
    After playing Sonic 2 right after doing a 3&K run, I really don’t understand how people could like it more. Sure, it’s a good game, but most of the later levels are tons worse than the earlier ones, whereas Sonic 3&K’s levels tend to get better the further in you go, and are generally more tightly designed.

    Sonic CD has small levels [even compared to Sonic 2], but the level design is extremely tight, and well suited for back-tracking to find Eggman’s machine to get good futures. I’d rank it just below Sonic 3 and Knuckles.

    Also, Sonic 3’s insta-shield is the best thing ever. With enough precision, you can protect yourself from most things using it, excluding spikes and pits. Sonic Advance also had an insta-shield, but it doesn’t protect you at all on use, just increases your attack radius.

    And Sonic 1… fuck Marble Zone, and fuck Labyrinth Zone. Otherwise, definitely good, and if it weren’t for the fact that only 4 out of 6 Zones are enjoyable [and Scrap Brain Act 3 might as well be Labyrinth Act 4], I’d rank it a little above Sonic 2. But Sonic 2 had mostly enjoyable stages, although Metropolis outright sucked, and Wing Fortress was a bit messy.

    All the Advance games are good, but not nearly as good as 3&K, and Rush’s level design wasn’t well done enough, even though I love that game. It punishes you for rolling, which is silly.

  52. Nick says:


    Who the hell ever played S3&K separately? I think I did it once, long after I’d beaten S3&K every possible way, just to see the Sonic 3 boss.

    I propose that your poll is silly. A major argument that these really should be considered one game is that there are many areas in the Sonic 3 levels which you can only reach with knuckles (and there are a couple areas in the S&K levels that only Tails can reach–or Sonic with Tails’ help). Because you cannot fully explore either section by itself, that suggests they are pieces of one game rather than individual games.

    At the end of the day this argument always comes down to Sonic 2, Sonic 3&K, and Sonic CD… removing one of those from the poll was a great way to win arbitrarily.